Editor’s Note: This post was written to be posted during the time we slated for a break between Christmas and New Year’s. We offer it to you because, though it is slightly dated in its specifics, it remains relevant in its larger theme. -SR
Most mom business owners are motivated by the freedom and flexibility of working for themselves. It gives them great family time, especially over the holidays.
But it cuts both ways. Without deliberate planning, you can’t coast out through 2013 and into 2014 and still expect to steadily financially contribute to your family, a contribution your family budget might depend on.
With the end-of-year hoopla and conflicting priorities, it’s easy to want to coast, eat fudge, and tell yourself everything will work out.
But how you structure your time now determines whether your cash flow will look naughty or nice in 2014. So, in addition to
• keeping God in the loop through prayer throughout the process and
• scheduling an official minimum three-hour comprehensive annual 2014 planning session before New Year’s Eve,
here are 5 steps to help you and your cash flow be friends:
1. Determine Your Starting Point
You need to know the balances to all of your accounts, your current income, and expense breakdown. Income and expenses affect your cash flow and your financial reserves affect your options. Look for numbers —incomes or expenses— that stand out and can be improved upon in 2014.
2. Calculate and Categorize Your Revenue Streams
List the various ways you earn money and your total earnings year to date.
3. Understand Revenue Generation Flow
For each of your revenue streams chart the marketing and sales process from the start, when the customer is engaged, to the ending point, when the customer purchases your product or service. Look for lack of clarity or spots where the flow gets clogged. Analyze and make adjustments to improve conversion rates.
4. Set New Targets for 2014
Steps 1 through 3 allow you to more accurately forecast where the money will come next year. Base the targets on actual products and services you plan to offer.
5. Incorporate the Revenue-Generating Tasks Daily
Spend most of your work time with activities that lead to increased revenue.
6. Increase Your Focus and Productivity
Following your plan efficiently will give you the assurance when you evaluate your results that the issue is not with your productivity and focus, but rather with the approaches you are taking.
This spot work on cash flow can be incorporated into your more comprehensive 2014 annual plan. Staying focused until the end will help you enjoy even more the relaxing connecting time with your family.
Catholic Momprenuer Biz and Life Tip: Carve an hour to work through the steps above to give you, your cash flow, and your family the break you deserve.
Copyright 2014 Christina M. Weber